‘Kalaupapa’s Got Talent’

On April 11, 2009, a 47-year-old Scottish lass named Susan Boyle shocked and stunned the listening audience of “Britain’s Got Talent” show with her jaw dropping rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream.” As we all know by this time, this show-stopping performance catapulted her to overnight fame and singing success. 

Yet unspoiled by her sensational success, she still lives in her own council house, though she did purchase the house next door. She is certainly a model and an inspiration for all aspiring professional singers.

So it was some weeks ago that many of our Kalaupapa community gathered one evening at St. Francis Church to hear our local artists, vocalists and musicians, perform in concert, not for fame or fortune, but to praise the Lord in music and song. Featured on piano we had Debbie, who was also our emcee for the evening as well as being the program director. Claire and Zianna, Carrie and David played classical with pizzazz as well as religious music. 

Richard on clarinet and harmonica provided rhythm and blues while Ryan played percussion with gusto. Eddie with the golden voice and uke brought Gospel and Soul music to our evening and provided background for Jenny and Zianna as they told a story in Hula dance. Nurse Debbie thrilled us with a touching rendition of “Ave Maria” and I attempted my best version of Elvis Presley’s “In The Garden,” and Cat Steven’s “Morning Has Broken.” Thankfully nobody tossed eggs or tomatoes!

There were no judges present that evening and no one expected to be voted onto the next show as in “America’s Got Talent” or “Britain’s Got Talent,” but there was loud applause and respectful acknowledgement of the efforts of the evening’s participants. This had been an evening for community participation and community building and, yes, it was an evening for us to say, “Kalaupapa’s got talent.”

Anchor columnist Father Killilea is pastor of St. Francis Parish in Kalaupapa, Hawaii.

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